MacKenzie was declared the "most heroic canine" in America by a combination of public voting and a panel of celebrity judges

By Eric Todisco
October 26, 2020 02:31 PM
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MacKenzie
| Credit: American Humane

The most heroic dog in America has been declared!

MacKenzie, a Chihuahua who weighs only 4 pounds, was named the country's "most heroic canine" over 407 canine competitors at the American Humane Hero Dog Awards: 10th Anniversary Celebration last Monday, hosted by Carson Kressley on the Hallmark Channel.

The winner was chosen through a combination of public votes and a panel of celebrity animal lovers, including  Jamie Chung, Erik Estrada, Danielle Fishel, Daniel Henney, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Marcus Scribner, Alexa and Carlos PenaVega and Ariel Winter.

"The American Humane Hero Dog Awards were created to honor some of the world’s most extraordinary heroes," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization. "These heroic canines have gone above and beyond the call of duty, saving lives on the battlefield, comforting the ill and aged, and reminding us of the powerful, age-old bond between animals and people. All seven category winners exemplify what it means to be a hero, and we hope that their stories–including MacKenzie’s — will inspire people to value our animal friends and recognize how much they do for us every day."

MacKenzie was born in Hilton, New York with a cleft palate and struggled with contracting aspiration pneumonia, which nearly took her life. But MacKenzie managed to overcome her birth defect and other health issues and began working for The Mia Foundation, a non-profit that rescues and nurtures animals born with birth defects who cannot physically be with their mothers.

"Her job is to provide love and care for baby rescue animals born with birth defects," the American Humane shared in a release. "MacKenzie takes an interest in each baby from day one, no matter the species or size. She plays nurse and cleans, comforts, and cuddles them. She acts as their mother and teaches them how to socialize, play, and have good manners."

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In addition, MacKenzie is tasked with interacting with children at schools, teaching them how to be open-minded toward animals and people with physical differences.

"They learn kindness, patience, and that you can make a difference in the world no matter how small you are," said the American Humane.

Along with MacKenzie's honor the American Humane Hero Dog Awards also gave prizes to 2020's top therapy dog, service dog, military dog, guide/hearing dog, law enforcement dog, and search and rescue dog.